can you help me decide?

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I am getting ready for two things #1. and most importantly
a new grand-daughter in September, and #2 a cruise in February
both occasions have inspired the seamstress in me :).

It has been at least 20 years since I've sewn a stitch, I went
to a couple of local fabric shops to look at the new machines
available, and am shocked at the options available, as well as
the price tags ... LOL!

For the past 10 years, I've been playing with computer graphics,
and so am familiar with file extensions, and working with computers!

The Brother Innov-is 950D, is tempting for me, because of the "Disney"
(my grand-daughters nursery, will be Cinderella), and the built in graphics
are quite nice, but the price tag is $999.00 with rebate.  In addition,
I will be making my gown for the Captain's Dinner for the cruise, as
well as other outfits., not to mention the childrens clothes, barbie,
ballet,
etc!

Sooooo, my question .... I've researched the Brother SE400, for a price
tag of
under $500.00, and with a format conversion program, it appears
that my possibilities are as endless as my imagination for embroidery, but
would
it be a good machine for sewing "silk's", and "chiffon's"?

Your input will be greatly appreciated!
Thank You
Cindy



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Re: can you help me decide?


In my experience, no 'one machine' does any 'one thing' well.  Sewing
and Embroidery machines are fantastic for embroidery but not
necessarily good for sewing that perfect straight stitch that only a
straight stitc-onlyh machine can.

On Fri, 14 May 2010 16:41:06 +0000, cd43_at_hotmail_dot_ snipped-for-privacy@foo.com
(Cd43) wrote:

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Re: can you help me decide?


I disagree with that statement.  Both of my Pfaff and BabyLock sews perfect
seams and is a joy to use, both for sewing and embroidery.
Maybe you should try other ones than the ones you've used.

-- Emily



Re: can you help me decide?


Marie wrote:
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I have the Singer Quantum XL5000, which is a combination
machine (and which cost waaaay more than OP is budgeting for
a combination machine).  I've tested its sewing capabilities
and it does very well.  However, it does fantastic
embroidery, so I leave it set up for that because my 50 year
old Singer 401A is still the best machine around for real
garment sewing, IMHO.

YMMV

--
Beverly
http://ickes.us/default.aspx



Re: can you help me decide?


IMHO 2 machines is a better setup.  Actually, I have 4 doing what they do
best in my sewing room. And Beverly, you don't play fair.  Nothing sews a
pretty seam like a Singer 401A.  Mine is out on loan to a granddaughter and
probably won't ever come home.  That's okay.  Sewing on a really grand old
SM is so much more encouraging for her than a piece of flimsy junk would be.
Polly


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Re: can you help me decide?


Compensation software and other gadgets are beginning to show up in
combination machines to compensate for the differences between embroidery
and seaming. Mostly in tension and is easy with the newer CPU based
machines.

CPU based embroidery machines are relatively new and combos are improving
with each machine version.

IMHO 2 machines is a better setup.  Actually, I have 4 doing what they do
best in my sewing room. And Beverly, you don't play fair.  Nothing sews a
pretty seam like a Singer 401A.  Mine is out on loan to a granddaughter and
probably won't ever come home.  That's okay.  Sewing on a really grand old
SM is so much more encouraging for her than a piece of flimsy junk would be.
Polly




Re: can you help me decide?


CD43 had written this in response to
http://www.sewgirls.com/embroidery/Re-can-you-help-me-decide-2431-.htm  :

Polly Esther wrote:

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Thanks so much for all the recommendations .... I'm now looking at the
Project
Runway Limited Edition LB-6800PRW with a price tag of $499.99, and it
comes with
a really nice bonus package of threads and accesories for a total cost of
$797.00 for both, along with 3 additional hoops .... anyone have any input?
Thanks so much
Cindy



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Re: can you help me decide?


CD43 wrote:

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http://www.buyhappier.com/Brother-Project-Runway-Sewing-and-Embroidery-Machine_p_158.html

Yes:  RUN AWAY!

Are you serious about sewing?  Have you actually done a
hands-on test run?

With that budget, you would do better with a good used
machine.  Check your local sewing machine center for
trade-ins, be sure whatever you choose comes with a
warrantee, and run some of the fabric you expect to use
through the machine.  If you are planning on buying that
"Project Runway Special" online, investigate whether or not
any local service centers will service your machine when if
conks out.

Before I ever embroidered a stitch with my machine (on sale
for $2,600 six years ago) I invested several hundred dollars
in threads, more $$$ on stabilizers, and another thousand on
digitizing software.

JMHO,

--
Beverly
http://ickes.us/default.aspx



Re: can you help me decide?


Polly Esther wrote:
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<giggle>  Only four???

I have THREE 401As, two sergers a Bernette MO2-3-4 and a
Huskylock 936, a coverstitch machine Bablylock BLCS, plus
the Quantum XL5000 embroidery machine.  (And that doesn't
even count the other 401A and Huskylock serger on loan to my
daughter and granddaughter.)  I bought my first 401A brand
new in 1961 as a newlywed, the others were rescued from
second hand shops and/or sewing machine store trade-ins. All
are set up and ready to sew whenever the mood strikes me.
You can see some of what I do at my web site.

I also have the Singer 500A "Rocketeer" I bought for my
mother-in-law to replace her gorgeous black-with-decals 30s
era Singer.  It did not have a reverse stitch, and I was
troubled by her tying off a knot at the beginning and end of
every seam.  Sadly the black one is long gone, I'm sure it
still sews a better seam than any of the new plastic
miracles.

The cost of my original 401A in 1961 was $700.00+.  Adjusted
for inflation, you'd spend around $5,000 in today's dollars
for an equivalent machine. If you could find one. I've
probably put several thousand yards of fabric through it,
still use it almost every day, and it sews as well now as it
did brand new.  Unless you're looking at industrials, I
don't think you will find a sewing machine built today with
all metal gears.

--
Beverly
http://ickes.us/default.aspx



Re: can you help me decide?


CD43 had written this in response to
http://www.sewgirls.com/embroidery/Re-can-you-help-me-decide-2434-.htm  :

BEI Design wrote:

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-------------------------------------

You know ... I do have my grandmothers Singer, it's packed away in
storage, and
I'll pull it out, and take it to be serviced, (it was serviced prior to
packing)
but I've never sewn with it, and I'll have to try to find a manual to go
with
it, maybe I can download one from online, hummmmm more research ....lol I
still
have her box of presser-feet as well, and her button collection!
As for the Brother Project Runway ... or any other Brother I may purchase
online, or off, I will have a local shop to service it, I've already
spoken with
them about that ... they are trying to sell me the Brother Innov-is950D or
1250D
... $1,599.00 for the 1250, $999.99 for the 950!  
Thanks for all the help, I'm taking all of your advice to heart!

PS .... I wish I had the room for 4 machines ... sadly, I don't, unless I
talk
hubby into partioning off a section of his art-room for a sewing room for
me ...
other than that, my sewing station will more than likely be in the guest
room,
where there's hardly room for more than 1 or two machines at the most, and
still
have room for guests ... :P

Have a great day!
Cindy


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Re: can you help me decide?


CD43 wrote:
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You might want to ask here about the particular model
number.  If it was manufactured later then the late 60s it
might not be worth the cost of servicing, Singer lost a lot
of quality for several years in the later part of the 20th
century.

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Best place for manuals:
http://www.sewusa.com/Sewing_Machine_Instruction_Manuals.htm

they also have good threading diagrams for many machines:
http://www.sewusa.com/Sewing_Machine_Threading_Diagrams.htm


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All to the good.  Current machines usually come with a
couple of basic feet, then you have to pay big $$$ for each
of the others.

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Keep in mind that the higher cost for more advanced
embroidery machines will probably include larger hoop areas.
My largest hoop takes a 9.375" X 5.375" design without
multi-hooping.  I would love a larger hoop capability.

If you do a side-by-side comparison of the
features/specifications/accessories of several different
models, you'll see why the costlier ones are... costlier.
Be sure you pay attention to any reviews which knock the
tension settings for straight sewing.  Some of the cheap
machines are notorious for their inability to hold tension.

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I'm now living alone in the home we bought 40 years ago for
a family of four.  I spread out all over the house, "real"
sewing room downstairs in the daylight basement (hard
surface floors so I don't worry about pins damaging it),
"computer" room in one upstairs bedroom, "embroidery" room
in another.

I don't do guests.  ;-)  Well, except for my grandchildren,
and they think it's cool to bunk down on an inflatable bed
in the living room.

--
Beverly
http://ickes.us/default.aspx



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